Revolution – Season 2 Episode 1 – Recap – Born in the U.S.A.
After a long summer, NBC‘s big sci-fi action drama Revolution is back! Actually, it wasn’t that long for me. I just caught up on Netflix finally a week or two ago. Anyway, this season premiere gets pretty crazy. Like, actually crazy. As in I can’t follow what’s going on in the episode half the time. It’s got a good feel, with three acoustic covers of popular songs (though it’s weird that this happens after fifteen years of global blackout) and plenty of grime on everything, but the time skips are a real spin.
Power comes back, and we watch missiles launch from The Tower. Then, we cut immediately to six months later, somewhere in The Plains Nation. Charlie is talking to a bartender about the power surge while some acoustic guitarman plays Crazy Train. She decides to make things go all smoochy, and the two start losing clothes. She wakes up and her lover says he’s seen General Monroe. Charlie finds herself in New Vegas, where another guitarman plays Smoke on the Water with a bit of country twang. The whole thing is basically a wild west circus. There’s whores and gambling and booze. A sideshow caller claims to have “the real David Schwimmer… the last surviving Friend!” and that’s cute. She eventually comes across a tent where Monroe is bareknuckle boxing for the yelling crowd. Monroe has taken the name Jimmy King. Charlie sets up a way to finally kill the jerk, but she’s foiled by some dudes kidnapping him instead!
Elsewhere, Miles Matheson (Billy Burke) comes out of a little shack covered in blood, then the shack bursts into flames. He gets back to some village in Texas, where a different guitarman than from before is playing Tom Sawyer. Rachel and Aaron are also in this little town. Rachel’s dad is there too, a doctor. Rachel is tending to a wounded man, who reveals through flashback that the missiles launched six months earlier dropped from the sky when the power went back out and exploded a bunch of cities. Rachel keeps having terrible flashbacks, especially about Randall (who shot himself right in front of her during the season finale). Daddy speculates he might’ve been following orders, but from whom?? It’s from the president. I mean, the characters don’t know that, but the season one finale revealed the president is still around, and then this scene cut away to the Army taking back the long-abandoned White House. Back with Miles and Rachel, their little town seems to be prepped for war. There’s some kind of combat that I didn’t really understand with a new factions of some sort. Probably these will be the season’s main antagonists, but I don’t know what they’re about!
At yet another place, ex-villain Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) is haggard, mildly bearded, and searching for his wife when his son Jason comes to lead him home. Well, not really home. The zoom out reveals that the entire settlement they’re in is just a gigantic tent city. Some time later, Tom considers suicide over the loss (like, she’s literally just missing) of his wife. Jason interrupts, just in time for a boat flying the U.S. flag and manned by uniformed soldiers to pull into port. This boat has got info about who was involved with the power going back on (then off again), and Tom is inspired by this to shave and find out what they know.
Aaron laments the loss of the power, and sees a bunch of fireflies that flicker… suspiciously. He shares his concerns with Rachel, who doesn’t find it particularly significant. Later, he’s sharing a sad story with his new special lady when their home is invaded by a sword bad guy. Defending her, Aaron gets totally sworded across his whole torso. It really sucks. Everybody panics, but Aaron totally dies which sucks hardcore! I loved this character! Gah! Damn you, Kripke! But then… then… AARON OPENS HIS EYES. Just as the episode ends! Dang, y’all!
This episode was not great! The feel of the show is right, but the tight plotting of season one has been replaced by meandering weirdness! I’m sure it’ll improve with time. A season premiere with a time skip like this is always a bit of a challenge. All the stuff I’ve been reading in interviews about what creator Eric Kripke wants to do with season two has been very reassuring. All the set-up here has me very excited for the rest of the season, and if a confusing season premiere is the price to pay for a solid second season, so be it! I’ve got a video preview below, and we can all eagerly await next week’s episode together.